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JUNE 2015

There's lots of great information and ideas below. Don't hit the delete key!

Swimming for Life,
Your Friends at U.S. Masters Swimming
High Turnover vs. the Right Turnover
Coach Stuart McDougal on using a little math to find tempo, stroke length. and pace

Conventional wisdom tells us that faster turnover equals faster speed. If only it were that easy! This may be true for our terrestrial counterparts, runners, but water is about 800 times denser than air. That added resistance means the rules can't apply in the same way for runners and swimmers. Additionally, turnover rate and speed don't share a linear correlation; errors in stroke mechanics introduce drag, and as speed increases, this drag coefficient increases exponentially. 


Continue reading >>>

Acknowledging Achievement and Improvement
Coach Bob Jennings says how you applaud and instruct your swimmers matters

Have you ever noticed how everyone gets excited when the 8-and-unders swim at age-group or summer league swim meets? Parents and coaches make a big deal about each swimmer, regardless of his or her place or time. Successfully completing the length of the pool for some is a major accomplishment, and it's lauded loudly. We see a little of this in Masters meets, particularly for swimmers over the age of 85, but I think we need to make all our swimmers feel this way, from beginners in lane one to the national champions. 


Continue reading >>>

Wanna Coach?
Sign up to be an on-deck coach at Summer Nationals
on-deck coaching
If you're already planning to go to Summer Nationals to help your own swimmers, why not extend your reach to other USMS members who could use a coach at Nats? Sign up today to be an on-deck coach in Cleveland this August. You'll get a free T-shirt, and you'll have an opportunity to work with some some amazing swimmers from around the country. Sign up today.


We'll also need coaches for the 2015 USAS Convention in Kansas City. Help your fellow delegates while they're working to help Masters Swimming at the USMS Annual Meeting. There are a variety of options available: distance, middle distance, stroke, sprint, or fitness workout, or stroke and open water drills clinics. More information to come.

Level 4 Coach Certification Submission Window Opening Soon
Seeking Level 4 certification? Start putting your application together now!

The submission window for USMS Level 4 coach certification applications is fast approaching. Applications will be accepted from July 1 through July 31. Download the application now and begin putting together your portfolio! But don't forget, you must officially register and pay for the submission. Information about Level 4 and the Level 4 application can be found online.


Submitted applications will be reviewed in August by a panel selected by the USMS Coaches Committee. Applicants will be notified of any deficiencies. Supporting documentation to address deficiencies must be submitted no later than Aug. 31. The review panel will notify candidates by Sept. 10 if they have achieved Level 4 status. Level 4 certification will be awarded to successful candidates during the USMS annual meeting.


Summer Competition Opportunities Abound
Remind your swimmers there are lots of opportunities to test themselves this summer
2015 USMS Summer National Championship
Cleveland, Ohio, Aug. 6-9
Registration is now open for Summer Nats! Registration closes July 6. More information about the meet, hotels, transportation, and local attractions is all available on the event website. In addition to on-deck coaches for this event, we're also still seeking officials. Apply to be an official today and help make this great event happen! 

Open Water National Championship Events
The open water National Championship series is now in full swing. Encourage your swimmers to sign up for some or all of the great events remaining on this year's calendar:
  • June 20: 9+ Mile National Championship (9.3 miles) Morse Reservoir, Noblesville, Ind. - 15K USMS Championship Wave CLOSED (email to be added to the waitlist)  Register for relay or 5K events
  • June 27: 2-Mile Cable National Championship, Foster Lake, Sweet Home, Ore. - Register Online
  • Aug. 29: 1-3-Mile National Championship, (1.55 miles) Lake George, N.Y. - Register Online
  • Sept. 12: 3-6 Mile National Championship, Lake Michigan, Chicago, Ill. - 
5K and 10K ePostal National Championships
The annual 5K and 10K ePostal National Championship events are perfect for swimmers who want to compete on a national stage without having to travel to far-flung swimming destinations. It's easy to do--just find a 50-meter pool, have a friend count for you, and submit your results online. All swims must be completed by September 15 to count for the National Championship, and all results must be submitted online by September 25. Coaches, these events make great team-building events, so consider dedicating some workout time to helping your swimmers complete their ePostals this year!
Awards Nomination Deadline Approaching Quickly
Nominate a deserving volunteer by July 1!

Each year U.S. Masters Swimming recognizes the extraordinary efforts of our members beyond the water's edge. USMS's success is a result of the amazing contributions of our talented and dedicated volunteers. Help us identify initiative and performance by nominating people you know who fulfill the ideals of the following awards. The deadline for nominations is July 1; please review the submission instructions for each award and help recognize an amazing volunteer.

  • Speedo/USMS Coach of the Year
  • Dot Donnelly Service Award
  • Kerry O'Brien Coaching Award
  • Club of the Year Award
  • June Krauser Communications Award
  • Fitness Award
  • Open Water Service Award

Let us know who deserves to be recognized!


Bidding for 2017 OW/LD National Champs Closing Soon
Submit your bid by July 15!
Open Water, swimming, swimmers, race, 1v1, Tropical Splash
Want to host an ePostal or open water National Championship in 2017? The bidding process is open to events that have run successfully for three years in a row before bidding. Hosting a national championship provides lots of national exposure, which can help your event grow. Bidding information is available on the Long Distance Championship page at usms.org. Selection will be based on the overall suitability of the bid received, and in the case of open water, the committee will also be considering the area in which the event is to be held, safety, and the annual event schedule as a whole. For more information and detailed instructions, check out the Championship Bid Information page. Applications for both ePostal and open water events can be completed online and are due by July 15. Apply today!

Enrollment Deadline Extended
High Performance Training Camp still accepting applications
High Performance Camp, We've Got Spirit

The High Performance Training Camp scheduled for Aug. 22 through 27 still has a few openings so registration has been extended. This training camp is a great opportunity to improve on technique while being filmed. You'll also receive personal education on your heartrate, lactate threshold, and flexibility, while learning the most up-to-date Masters training and competitive theories. Technique and speed information and much more will be offered during this 5-day training camp. For more information and to register, please see the event page. And read what other swimmers have had to say about this camp. Not many places remain, so sign up today!


What Rule is THAT?!
Kathy Casey, USMS Rules Chair, answers your questions
The Coach Asks: We are hosting a meet soon and would like to offer 25-yard events in addition to the normal events. Can we limit each swimmer to a maximum of five events per day and allow them to swim as many 25-yard events as they wish in addition to the five individual events per day? Do nonconforming events count for the five-event-per-day limit?


Answer: Nonconforming events count for the five-event-per-day limit at sanctioned meets. 102.6 (event limit) does not differentiate between conforming and nonconforming events (see 202.1.1F[3] for information about offering nonconforming events at sanctioned meets). 102.6 stipulates only five events per day, and 25-yard events, or other nonconforming events, count as part of the five-event-per-day limit. 


All rule references are from the 2015 USMS Rule Book. For any questions about competition rules in Part 1, contact Kathy Casey, USMS Rules Chair.

Questions from Coaches
Bill Brenner, Education Director, answers your questions

In this special edition of "Questions from Coaches," Bill Brenner asks coaches an important question: Do you supply the spark?


I always look forward to the fireworks display on the Fourth of July. The brilliant explosion of colors and the sounds that follow ignite my memories of displays I've enjoyed with family and friends in the past. While the public displays with their lengthy and large bursts of colorful lights are fascinating, it's the fireworks my friends and family detonated ourselves that make me smile the most. Maybe it's because you strike the match, you light the fuse, and you anticipate the outcome of your actions.


Sometimes I get the same feeling when I light a spark in one of the Masters swimmers I coach. The shouts and smiles of success and accomplishment renew my passion for our profession.  


Ask yourself: Do you deliver a spark to each of your swimmers every day? Do you teach them a new skill, create a new challenge, or help them establish a new goal? Do you display a passion for coaching by not just writing a good workout, but by delivering it with a smile and burst of energy?


Disney and hundreds of other theme parks conclude each day with a magnificent fireworks display as they send us out their gates smiling happily, albeit tired, looking forward to our next visit. Well, I think we all know a few Masters swimmers who are really just grown-up kids loving the energy and excitement of the fireworks a Masters coach brings to every practice and leave yearning for more.  


I challenge you to be the spark!


"For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake." --Fredrick Douglass


Questions about growing your club, managing club business, or becoming a better coach? Education Director Bill Brenner has answers.

Want to read past questions? Then check out Bill Brenner's "Questions from Coaches" blog, and see if he's already found solutions to your coaching quandaries.
Coach Certification Schedule
Upcoming Coach Certification Classes
Want to become a better coach? Then get certified and up-to-speed on the latest coaching techniques. We offer certification classes for coaches who want to become Level 1, 2, or 3 certified in various cities all over the country.

See the full list of class dates and locations on our Coach Certification Schedule page

ALTS Instructor Certification Schedule
Upcoming ALTS Instructor Certification Classes

Our innovative, one-day Adult Learn-to-Swim Instructor Certification Course begins with several hours of classroom training in how to approach the various types of adult nonswimmers you might come across while offering lessons. After talking theory in the classroom, all attendees practice what they've just learned in the pool. At the conclusion of the class, you'll be a certified USMS ALTS instructor, ready to help people who come to you for swimming lessons.


More information about the course is available online along with a schedule for upcoming classes around the country. Please check the schedule frequently, as we're constantly adding new dates and locations.


Quick Links and Resources for Coaches


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About U.S. Masters Swimming
U.S. Masters Swimming, founded in 1970, is a membership-operated national governing body that promotes health, wellness, fitness, and competition for adults through swimming. It does so by partnering with more than 1,500 adult swim programs across the country; promoting information via the bimonthly member magazine, SWIMMER, monthly e-newsletters, STREAMLINES, and website, usms.org; and by sanctioning and promoting pool, open water, and virtual events and competitions. Nearly 60,000 adults are registered members of U.S. Masters Swimming.
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